Good news for cat lovers who can't stop sneezing around their furry friends: researchers have developed a potential new cat allergy vaccine.
The preliminary study showed that the vaccine called "HypoPet" is able to target and neutralize the major cat allergen "Fel d 1" — a cat protein that's secreted into a cat's saliva and tears, as well as found on the animal's pelt — that causes humans' allergic reactions. The researchers reported that the vaccine is "well-tolerated".
初步研究结果表明，这款名为“HypoPet”的疫苗能够中和宠物猫身上含有的过敏原“Fel d 1”蛋白。该蛋白存在于猫咪的唾液和泪液以及全身的毛发中，而此物质便是导致人类过敏的罪魁祸首。研究人员表示，该疫苗当前在猫咪身上“耐受良好”。
But unlike most vaccines, the shot is for the cat — not its human owners. In other words, the vaccine immunizes cats "against their own major allergen, Fel d 1," according to the study.
和大多数的疫苗不同，这款疫苗的接种对象不是猫的主人，而是猫咪。换句话说，该疫苗让猫咪具备“抵抗自身Fel d 1过敏原”的免疫能力。
The vaccine would help millions of pet owners who are allergic to their animals. The proteins found in a pet's dander, skin flakes, saliva and urine can cause an allergic reaction, like sniffling, sneezing, itchiness and watery eyes, or aggravate asthma symptoms in some people.
The vaccine has the potential to lead to a lower allergenic cat, and the benefits of that are two-fold. Both human subjects and animals could profit from this treatment because allergic cat owners would reduce their risk of developing chronic diseases, such as asthma, and become more tolerant of their cats, which therefore could stay in the households and not need to be relinquished to animal shelters.
However, more research is still needed — including with human subjects — and it will be a while before the vaccine is available. In the meantime, you can help keep sneezing and watery eyes at bay by keeping pets out of your bedroom. Professionals also recommend using a double or micro-filter bag in the vacuum to reduce the amount of pet allergen in carpeting, which can end up in the air you breathe, and use HEPA air cleaners, which help remove allergenic particles from the air so you can breathe easier.
preliminary: adj. 初步的
allergen: n. 过敏原
pelt: n. （动物的）毛皮
relinquish: v. 放弃